Silver Wheaton profit falls 47 percent due to lower metal prices

(Reuters) - Canada's Silver Wheaton Corp SLW.TOSLW.N reported a 47 percent fall in quarterly profit, hurt by a decline in metal prices, but forecast slightly higher production for the current year.

The Vancouver-based company provides streaming deals, in which miners get cash upfront in exchange for agreeing to sell metal to the streaming company at a set price in the future.

The company forecast attributable production of about 36 million silver equivalent ounces, including 155,000 ounces of gold, for 2014. It reported attributable silver equivalent production of 35.8 million ounces for the year ended December 31.

The net profit fell to $93.9 million, or 26 cents a share, in the fourth quarter ended December 31, from $177.7 million, or 50 cents, a year earlier.

Revenue dropped 42 percent to $167.4 million.

Silver Wheaton’s attributable silver equivalent production rose 17 percent, while average realized silver prices fell 33 percent to $21.03 per ounce.

The company was also hit by Barrick Gold Corp's ABX.TO decision to suspend development of its Pascua-Lama mine in South America.

Silver Wheaton in 2009 bought 25 percent of the mine’s silver production, paying Barrick cash in exchange for future silver sales at a discounted price.

Silver Wheaton on Thursday declared its first quarterly cash dividend of 7 cents per share.

The company’s shares, which have risen as much as 34 percent in the last six months, closed at C$28.24 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday. The stock closed at $25.14 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Reporting by Allison Martell in Toronto and Sneha Banerjee in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel